Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently.
Take short showers instead of baths and use low-flow showerheads for additional energy savings.
Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
Air dry clothes.
Check to see that windows and doors are closed when heating or cooling your home.
Drive sensibly; aggressive driving such as speeding and rapid acceleration and braking wastes fuel.
Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F.
Check for open fireplace dampers.
Check your dryer vent to be sure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire.
Clean or replace the filters on your furnaces and air conditioners once a month or as recommended.
Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
Eliminate trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season; if unsure about how to perform this task, contact a professional.
Turn off kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing; when replacing exhaust fans, consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models.
During the winter, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
During the summer, keep the window coverings closed during the day to block the sun’s heat.
Set your thermostat at as high a temperature as comfortably possible in the summer, and ensure humidity control if needed. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
Consider using an interior fan along with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
Avoid placing appliances that give off heat such as lamps or TVs near a thermostat.
Water Heating Tips
Install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads.
Repair leaky faucets promptly; a leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period of time.
Set the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F to get comfortable hot water for most uses.
Dishwasher Water-Saving Tips
Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer’s recommendations on water temperature; many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature (120°F).
Scrape, don’t rinse, off large food pieces and bones. Soaking or prewashing is generally only recommended in cases of burned- or dried-on food.
Be sure your dishwasher is full (not overloaded) when you run it.
Avoid using the “rinse hold” on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3-7 gallons of hot water each use.
Let your dishes air dry; if you don’t have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open slightly so the dishes will dry faster.
Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible.
Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting.
Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter weight clothes.
Don’t over-dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.
Clean the lint screen in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation and prevent fire hazards.
Periodically, use the long nozzle tip on your vacuum cleaner to remove the lint that collects below the lint screen in the lint screen slot of your clothes dryer.
Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the heat remaining in the dryer.
Home Office Tips
Selecting energy-efficient office equipment and turning off machines when they are not in use can result in significant energy savings.
Using an ENERGY STAR labeled computer can save 30%-65% energy than computers without this designation, depending on usage.
Spending a large portion of time in low-power mode not only saves energy, but also helps equipment run cooler and last longer.
Putting your laptop AC adapter on a power strip that can be turned off (or will turn off automatically) can maximize savings; the transformer in the AC adapter draws power continuously, even when the laptop is not plugged into the adapter.
Using the power management settings on computers and monitors can cause significant savings.
It is a common misperception that screen savers reduce a monitor’s energy use. Use automatic switching to sleep mode or simply turn it off.
Avoid idling. Think about it—idling gets you 0 miles per gallon. The best way to warm up a vehicle is to drive it. No more than 30 seconds of idling on winter days is needed. Anything more simply wastes fuel and increases emissions.
Avoid aggressive driving, such as speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking, which can lower your highway gas mileage by up to 33% and your city mileage by 5%.
Avoid high speeds. Above 60 mph, gas mileage drops rapidly. For every 5 mph above 60 mph, it’s like paying an additional $0.30 per gallon of gasoline.
Avoid keeping heavy items in your car; an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could increase your gas costs by up to $.08 cents per gallon.
Reduce drag by placing items inside the car or trunk rather than on roof racks, which can decrease your fuel economy by 5% or more.
Combine errands. Several short trips, each one taken from a cold start, can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
Check into telecommuting, carpooling, and public transit to save driving and car maintenance costs. Many urban areas provide carpool lanes that are usually less congested, which means you will get to work and home faster and more refreshed!
Car Maintenance Tips
Use the grade of motor oil your car’s manufacturer recommends. Using a different motor oil can lower your gas mileage by 1%-2%.
Get regular maintenance checks to avoid fuel economy problems due to worn spark plugs, dragging brakes, sagging belts, low transmission fluid, or transmission problems.
Don’t ignore the check-engine light—it can alert you to problems that affect fuel economy as well as more serious problems, even when your vehicle seems to be running fine.
Replace clogged air filters on an older car with a carbureted engine to improve gas mileage by as much as 10% and to protect your engine.